Turkeys being rounded up for Thanksgiving | NevadaAppeal.com

Turkeys being rounded up for Thanksgiving

Rhonda Costa
Appeal Staff Writer

It all started innocently enough a decade ago at a Carson City Rotary meeting.

Then-Rotary President Capt. John Van Cleef of the Salvation Army suggested the group collect Thanksgiving turkeys for the needy in the community. From that meeting came the annual Turkey Roundup, which has grown to collect more than 1,000 birds a year for local charities.

“But no husbands,” said Rotary member Mike Hautekeet. “We actually had women dressing their husbands up and wanting to donate them!”

This year’s Turkey Roundup will be held from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday at Hautekeet’s business, Mike’s Pharmacy, 1007 N. Curry St. Model Dairy donated refrigerated trucks to hold the donated birds.

“And all turkeys must be dead and frozen,” Hautekeet added.

Hautekeet said the number of donated turkeys has risen from about 500 the first few years to nearly 1,500 turkeys.

“Two years ago we got the turkeys plus $15,000 donated,” he said.

Hautekeet said all donations go to FISH, The Salvation Army and other area food closets.

“Everywhere except Reno,” he said. “They have their own drive. We have food banks who call and say how many they will need. Their needs are anywhere from two to four turkeys, to 100 turkeys for some camps.”

“Carson City is amazing. The way the economy is, we’re getting daily phone calls on when people can drop off a turkey. No matter how tough the economy is, they will come and help those in need.”

“All food banks come in and stand in line and load up the turkeys,” Hautekeet said. “By noon the next day, all turkeys have been distributed.”

Even after taking on this service project 10 years ago, Hautekeet said he still likes turkey.

“Oh, yes, as long as I don’t have to cook them,” he laughed. “You can never get tired of turkey.

“My favorite is deep fried.”

Contact Rhonda Costa at rcosta@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.